League Secretary 50th Year

Jun 16 2015 7:07 PM
Chairman Ian Shiels making presentation to Billy McIlroy accompanied by Pat, Lisa and James 12th June 2015

A special presentation was made to Billy by Councillor Tommy Nicholl to mark the event and after a short speech by Jane.

 "We are here tonight, not only to celebrate the end of the football season but to celebrate the League Secretary’s successful completion of 50 years with the league.

 Billy joined the Ballymena and Junior District League as part of Wakehurst Utd in 1965, a team set up in Klingers along with Hubert Bennett, Nat Boyd and the Late Sammy Scullion.  The Team saw the Saturday Morning League’s Brian Montgomery make his debut in Football. I’m led to believe that back in the good old days you would play ankle deep in mud and the pitch at Coronation Park Cushendall Road was marked out with saw dust, not like the fancy 4G pitches of today.

 Billy remained with Wakehurst until he was talent scouted in 1976 for his abilities OFF pitch and a transfer to Cullybackey & football management occurred, it has not been confirmed how much the transfer fee was.

 Whilst at Cullybackey Billy’s organising skills came to the fore and he was duly appointed the Vice Chairman of the League, until  the 1980 /81 season when he was appointed the League Secretary under the guidance of Major T P Smith, the position he still holds today.

 Billy’s organisational skills have also benefitted the Spina Bifida Association and he was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1989 in recognition for his services, if anyone fancies a dip in Carnlough Harbour on New Year’s Day just let him know and he’ll sign you up.

 As a young man he was a pigeon fancier along with his father and picked up 12th place in his first race. This win inspired him to try out other competitive sports and cycling was the sport of choice. A few medals were won but unfortunately his love of going to the dances (each and every night without fail) played havoc with his rigorous training schedule and all dreams of winning the Tour De France were short lived.

 We could spend all night discussing Billy’s illustrious career in football but I’m sure like myself, you would like home before daybreak, so ladies and gentlemen please be upstanding and join me in congratulating Billy for 50 years dedication and service to the Ballymena Provincial League."